|Barcelona!: I'm shown here at the rooftop bar at the Hotel Condes on Barcelona's Passeig de Gràcia. We stayed here following the christening of Oceania's Riviera ship and found its location, attentive service and excellent buffet breakfast to be a great, affordable option for pre- and post-cruisers.|
In the luxury travel arena, we get to see each other in some excellent places. Perhaps on a new cruise ship launch in Spain or sipping Bloody Marys at The St. Regis New York. We could be strolling down the streets of Portofino and wave to one another because we’re all there on a Crystal gala cruise excursion, or we might be purchasing limoncello together from a farm in Sorrento where we’ve just learned how mozzarella is made.
We all know it doesn’t get much better than this, and we all admit it pretty readily.
It’s not all about savoring luxury, however. It’s about knowing each other through the years as everyone experiences life changes. It could be the change of jobs within the travel industry (seriously, does anyone really ever leave it to try another trade?), or it could be the loss of a spouse, the birth of a child or complicated issues with a family member. We are all there for each other during this time because all of us know it’s not easy to endure such transitions, especially those that are not particularly joyful. I think it actually deepens the bonds that everyone has with each other.
You might not realize how unique the travel industry is in this regard. Our parent company, Questex Media, serves several other markets and when outsiders make an overall observation about our businesses, they remark on how everyone in travel gets along, even though they work for competing companies. They’re in awe at how ideas are shared, at the camaraderie and diplomacy that’s constantly displayed. That makes us all pretty fortunate. We may not always see eye to eye and occasionally we may seem to step on each others’ toes, but at the end of each day we all recognize that there’s enough luxury business to go around for all of us.
It’s when we lose someone in our midst that we realize how bonded we are to each other. Most recently, we got the very sad news that Roger Miller, CEO of Minnetonka Travel in Wayzata, MN, had passed away.
We featured Roger on our June 2011 cover of Luxury Travel Advisor. He was a great joy to speak with. His love for life, his family, and all things travel were apparent in every sentence he uttered. Writing his story was sheer joy as we sorted through our notes that relayed his love for Austria and Switzerland, and the lovely town of Wayzata, where he lived. He thought it was wonderfully scenic and charming, and he adored his wife, Lenore, his travel advisors and neighbors so. He often invited us to come visit him there…we never had the chance.
Roger was also a great fan of his consortium, Vacation.com, of which he was a board member. He was deeply involved in sharing his knowledge with other Vacation.com members and often flew around the country to visit with them. He was also tremendously loyal to Luxury Travel Advisor. After he was featured on the cover, he became part of our family and showed extremely strong enthusiasm in attending our events and participating in our advisory boards.
Roger Miller was 69 years old. We are so sorry to lose our good friend.